Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

23 July 2014

South Africa: Analysis - How About Legalising Ball 'Tampering'?

analysis

In the ever increasing batsman-friendly era of modern cricket, is it not time to consider legalising ball tampering to some extent? Many players and coaches have called for it before, and it's something that turn out be rather good for the game.

There are few sports which indulge sanctimony quite like cricket. From the mythical "Spirit of the Game" to the double standards between not walking and claiming a dodgy catch. Cricket fans love to get on a high horse and ride it to an ivory tower built on self-righteousness.

It became evident once again when Vernon Philander was caught on camera scratching the ball during South Africa's first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. He was charged, didn't contest it, and South Africa danced around all the "its" that other teams do and are better at than them. They didn't say the exact words, but everyone knew what they meant.

The latest "tampering row" is a whole lot of puffing for not very much. As already noted on these pages, the umpires didn't even notice anything wrong with the ball that Philander so badly abused. Ball management is not some sort of crazy destruction of the...

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